No Shave Novembeard: Week One

By Connor Rice


With a rush of the chilled DeKalb morning air, the skin on my face became tense and full of angst.

Gone was the safety net of my perpetual 5 o’clock shadow, carefully and sporadically sanded down with a cheap electric razor. In its place was the baby-soft epidermis that represents the beginning of No Shave November.

I wish I could have had the guile to leave a light scruff; a last line of defense against the unforgiving DeKalb wind, but I deplore the notion of the “head start.” I am an honest man. So honest, in fact, that in the absence of a more conventional shaving cream, I resorted to using the “Skintimate” gel left carelessly in the shower by a former female roommate, all in the name of “Novembeard.” How a house full of 20-something males could contain no men’s Gillette or Old Spice continues to confuse me, but I must say that I’ve never had a shave so free of nicks, cuts and blood. Normally, the tender, pallid skin on my neck appears so caked in oxidized O positive it looks like someone made several half-hearted attempts to slit my throat. But only minor injuries prevailed this time around, and I began to question my past choices in shaving product selection.

As much as I would love an invitation to join the Vienna Boys Choir, I must say I’m looking forward to the passage of time and the return of my facial hair.

I’m normally fairly apathetic when it comes to shaving. Despite numerous claims that the heavy concentration of follicles beneath my jawline void an actual “beard” classification, I tend to favor a shaggy, insulated look to accompany my flannel shirts and combat boots during the colder months, appreciating the instances when I don’t have to produce identification at bars and liquor stores. Thankfully, I’ll only have to wait a few days time to return to a fuzzier visage, and I can ride out No Shave November in all its glory. But for now, I’m stuck with a reminder of my horrifying experiences in prepubescence, as well as be subject to the unforgiving lashings of this city’s whipping autumn gusts.

[Connor’s Novembeard saga continues next week with razor sharp discussions from some of DeKalb’s most famous facial hair.]